I think it’s about time Steven Moffat and I have a little chat. After watching the most recent episode, “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” a bacchanalian orgy of reptiles, historical figures and sass, I’m left confused.
Before this reads of bitterness and old fogey yearning for the older days, let me say that I love the increased attention and budgets of the show. It means people care.
But maybe we’re getting a little too excited here. For a show that once made a rolling garbage disposal into a menacing genocidal monster, the scrappy ingenuity that shaped the show’s character has been less and less apparent as plotlines and twists become more grandiose. We’re the street urchin who gorges on a buffet, or that possum who broke into that Australian bakery, ate too many pastries and then couldn’t move.
We’ve got so much going on in so little time that it’s almost as if we have nothing to hold on to and carry away. Things are too fantastical in the Whoniverse and, sci-fi be damned, we need to be grounded once more.
The episode was lighthearted and family-friendly with environmentalist undertones and featured an interesting “Who-canon” explanation for the disappearance of Queen Nefertiti from Egyptian records. It’s the right sort of romp for the kids to enjoy, but not entirely satisfying as a standalone episode.
Because, in the end, despite shiny effects, dinosaurs and Arthur Weasley (guest star Mark Williams), all the razzle-dazzle leaves me wondering where the adorable, affectionate science fiction went? It leaves me asking “Moffat, why won’t you look at me during?”